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Renewed Calls for Motorists to Stay Vigilant Against Motoring Touters

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SINGAPORE, 03 November 2023 - The General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA) has revealed alarming statistics, estimating that fraudulent motor claims make up about 20 percent of all motor insurance claims in Singapore. These deceptive claims often involve exaggerated injuries and inflated vehicle damage.

The complexity of these scams extends to organised crime syndicates staging traffic accidents and recruiting numerous individuals to take part in their fraudulent endeavours. These participants are frequently unaware of their involvement in a more extensive syndicate’s activity.

In response to this growing issue, the GIA has now taken a significant step to raise awareness by releasing an eye-opening video outlining the disturbing tactics used by these fraudsters and includes steps motorists can take to protect themselves.

Budget Direct Insurance, a trusted name in the insurance industry, is wholeheartedly supporting this initiative to combat motoring touting. The rise in such activities has far-reaching implications, not just for insurers but also for all motorists in Singapore.

Simon Birch, CEO of Budget Direct Insurance, emphasizes that insurance fraud is a persistent and far-reaching concern. While insurance companies employ advanced technologies including AI to combat these fraudulent activities, he underscores the vital role of individual vigilance in safeguarding against potential scams.

Fraud impacts not only insurers but also consumers directly. The increased claims payouts, stemming from these deceitful activities, inevitably translate into higher premiums for policyholders. Moreover, the operational costs incurred by insurance companies in combating fraud are indirectly reflected in the annual premiums paid by policyholders.

Simon Birch remarked, "Insurance fraud is a persistent concern with wide-ranging consequences. While insurers deploy advanced technologies to combat fraud, it is vital for individuals to be vigilant and aware of potential scams to protect themselves. At the end of the day, all motorists are victims to motoring insurance fraud as we’re all having to pay higher premiums as a result."

A case in point is one of the largest motor fraud cases reported in Singapore, involving an auto workshop owner orchestrating fraudulent claims amounting to S$1.6 million. This complex scheme revolved around the owner and his accomplice staging fake accidents and recruiting individuals to file fraudulent claims for accidents they were supposedly involved in. Shockingly, these fraudulent claims went undetected for four years across 13 insurance companies.

"Staying informed is the first line of defence against insurance fraud. We strongly encourage everyone to watch this brief GIA video and gain valuable insights into the deceptive strategies used by touters," Birch added.

Reported motoring scam scenarios in Singapore include:

Beware of Phoney Helpers: After an accident, individuals may offer "help" and exert pressure on victims to comply with their demands, often directing them towards unauthorised repair workshops or towing services that overcharge.

Staged Accidents: Scammers may stage accidents, causing victims to collide with their vehicles and then falsely accuse victims of causing the collision. They often fake injuries and make substantial claims for collision and injuries.

Phoney Witnesses: Suspect convenient witnesses who corroborate the other driver's account, which often suggests a staged accident.

To protect themselves from car insurance fraud, motorists can take the following steps:

Install a Dashboard Camera: Installing a dashboard camera provides real-time video evidence of accidents, which can be invaluable in proving your case to insurers, the police, or legal authorities.

Report the Accident Quickly: Promptly reporting accidents to the police and your insurer allows you to control the flow of information, ensuring that accident details are recorded fairly and in a timely manner.

Use Your Insurer's Authorised Workshop: After an accident, avoid using towing services or workshops recommended by strangers, especially immediately after the incident.

Report Fraud: Report any actual or suspected insurance fraud cases to your insurance company or to the General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA) online.

Watch the GIA video here.

Eye-opening video by the General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA) aimed at raising awareness about the concerning rise in touting activity among motorists.

For comprehensive information and resources on protecting yourself from car insurance fraud, please visit these related resources at https://www.budgetdirect.com.sg/blog/ceo-message/beware-of-car-insurance-touters

About Budget Direct Insurance

Budget Direct Insurance is an award-winning online digital insurance company for car, motorcycle, and travel. It is part of an international group which provides insurance solutions for millions of policyholders worldwide. Their brands include Compare the Market in the UK, Budget Direct in Australia, and Telesure in South Africa.

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